Beastly Boat Projects: Part I

There are so many things we do on the boat that are so very dreadful and darn right beastly!  Lucky for us, we are on the hard at Norsand and can employ their team to more effeciently conquer some of these boat projects for us.

Living on the Hard

Many cruisers rent an apartment when their boat is on the hard because frankly it is irritating to be on the hard while living onboard.  Why do you ask?  Well, first, we have no running water.  Which means no sinks, toilets, or showers.  Lucky for us we are fairly close to the bathrooms but still, in the middle of the night, I have to layer the warm clothing (as it get’s down to 11c), go outside, climb down my stairs, walk to the bathroom, and return.  Then I am wide awake for hours.  Brushing your teeth, or washing your hands, or doing the dishes take on a totally different meaning when you have to carry them downstairs, outside, and to the public sinks.

Now, let me shine some light on my craziness.  Yes, the above is true.  However, I only have to go down 5 steps where my neighbor has to go down 18 steps!  I have no right to complain.

Saildrive Maintenance and Repair

The boat projects begin.  We engaged Whangarei Marine (also known as Ray Roberts) to help us do some general maintenance on our saildrives.  I scheduled them for the day after we were hauled out but I did not expect to still be on the trailer when they arrived.  They made the best of it.  Taylor and Damon showed up and expertly removed the props, zincs, and drained the oil.

Then they had to move our engine forward in order to pull the saildrive out.  Only to have to repeat the process on the other side.

Plans Always Change…

We originally started out with replacing the bellows, clamping rings, and seal kits.  Then after we removed the saildrives we noticed our damper plates were a little worse for the wear (still functional, but new would be better).  Unfortunately, Volvo no longer sells parts for our 23 year old engines and there were no second hand damper plates.  So, we added a spacer to get more time out of the splines.  Matt thinks we added 4-5 years before we might need to think about repowering the boat (new engines and saildrives).  Gesh, this was a super expensive boat project!

Once the saildrives are installed we have to wait for the coppercoat to be applied before we install the boot that goes around the sail drive.  The rubber piece is glued with 5200 then Matt installs the fiberglass with screws.  We decided to cover these small pieces with an anti-foul wrap instead of our coppercoat.  This is a relatively new technology. It literally is a wrap that is meant to protect the bottom of your boat.

Top left shows the bare hull with the rubber boot down toward the bottom hanging losely.  The rubber boot is glued on first.  Then we glued (5200) the fiberglass boot (upper right photo) which has the new antifoul wrap on.  Once the fiberglass is set, the wrap company came back and added the plack paint around the edges and frankly made a huge mess of the entire project.  But it is on the bottom of the boat so we are letting it go.

An Experiment

Not a boat project, but a fun experiement.  In one area we have coppercoat (on the hull), prop speed (saildrives and props), Vivid barrier antifoul paint (rudder casing) and a new antifoul vinyl wrap (on the sail drive boots).  We are testing to see which of the 4 antifoul uses do better.  We both are betting on the antifoul vinyl wrap being the first to go.

Circle (upper left pic) is Vivid antifoul paint.  Lower right pic is the antifoul vinyl wrap.  Upper right shows you the coppercoat (antifoul on the hulls), vinyl wrap (black on the sail drive boot) and coppercoat on the saildrive and props.

Caulking the Deck and Beyond

There is a sealent that runs along the deck and the hull all around the entire boat.  It was looking super ratty and some areas had small leaks.  We tried to get a small area repaired in Raitea but they did not do a really great job so we decided to replace the entire thing all around the boat.  This is one of the boat projects we did not want to conquer on our own.

Josh is assigned to this lovely, dirty boat project.  First he has to carefully dig the old sealent out between the wood toe rail and the deck.  You can see it looks clumpy in some areas which is not only ugly but uneffective.  This has been a boat project we wanted to tackle for some time, but never had the time and dry weather for long enough to do it.

This is an area where he picked out the old sealent and then in the lower photo replaced it with fresh product.

Here is another area that was bad, it is the port sugar scoop by our swim ladder.

A Busy Caulker

Since we have such a talented “caulker” we asked Josh to seal several other areas:

  • Starboard large window (Int/Ext) / hatch that had a small leak
  • Starboard & Port helm seats and helm stations
  • Both davits at the boat attachment point
  • Forward and aft bimini poles (above the cockpit)
  • Inside around the new ceiling panels we installed last season in each of the 3 cabins, both heads, and salon.
  • Around the entire bimini rail, all four sides
  • Let’s just say that we “caulked” the majority of the boat inside and out

I am not sure Josh wants to do more caulking boat projects from us again, but it was great fun having him around for most of our time in Norsand!

Teak Bimini Rail

The teak bimini rail was falling off.  I am sure part of the reason it came loose was because it is old, but also because Matt steps on it when he works on the sail.  In order to properly repair it we had to completely remove it (carefully so it doesn’t break).  The rail is attached to the bimini which is made of honeycomb (strong and light).  Because the wood is old and fragile, Matt decides to take on this boat project by removing it himself.  Now the yard can fill and prepare the board to be re-installed.  Please note that our bimini rail did not look like the photos below. I failed to take a before photo of the wood so you get a middle photo of half of it torn out. 

Matt and Ben tackled the honeycomb part of this boat project.  Matt cleaned it out and prepared it for filling and then Ben filled it with sealant. We wanted to fill it to ensure the wood would hold more securly.  While the boys were working on the bimini, I worked on the wood. The end product looks amazing!

Bathroom Ceiling

This should be the last ceiling job that we do for a long time!  The master bathroom had 5 panels that were made of fiberglass and covered in paint.  The problem was the humidity over the years caused the paint to chip and it looked horrible.  The only way to properly repair the panels was to remove them, sand and repaint them.   The problem with this boat project was that they were solidly in place, glued with 5200 and tons of caulking.  It was beastly!

Of course, once you remove the panels you have to remove all of the awful glue, silicone, and residue — making this a truly beastly boat project.  We bring a day laborer, Kenan to help me for one day and I finish up on day 2.  Smooth as a baby’s butt!

Josh installed the new ceiling panels with VHB tape and then spent a few days caulking around every single panel!

Once he was done the master head looked spectacular!  I am so happy with the repaired ceiling.

Boat Projects To Be Continued…

We had so many beastly boat projects that it requires 2 blog posts!  So stay tuned for our next post as we install new heaters and a new 220v inverter/charger, we install new anchor markers and clean up our 100m of stainless steel chain, varnish tons of teak and install new mirrors.

What the cockpit looks like during project mode….ugh!

Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind actual live events.  This blog post occured during  7 Nov. – 22 Dec.  We repair several gel coat areas in our last blog – did you catch it?

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3 thoughts on “Beastly Boat Projects: Part I

  1. Peter Booth

    Hi seems you had an ok visit to Norsand boatyard. Would you recommend them? I am thinking about getting standing rig and back to hull antifoul done. Some of the reviews on Google are not good….but Gerry and Aaron have been helpful with quotes.
    Thanks for your help. Peter

  2. Christine Post author

    Hey Peter, Yes, we do highly recommend Norsand Boatyard. Aaron is really great, honest, and hard working. We worked directly with him on several projects on two different haul out periods and are pleased with their team. We’ve had Norsand do gelcoat work, Coppercoat, caulking (lots of caulking), water tank repair, polish/wax, propspeed and all of the work has been done well.

    We have not had rigging work done at Norsand. We worked with Matthew at Spars & Rigging and he is great, 09 430 0298. But you would have to go to Dockland 5 to do the rigging portion of your projects.

  3. Peter Booth

    Hi Christine, thx a lot for the reply and info. Sounds good. Was there any reason you didn’t get the rig done at Norsand? Or just better quiet from Dockland 5?
    I have tried to get quotes off them but they won’t quote until they see the boat which makes a bit hard to choose them.
    Were they reasonably priced.
    Thanks again. 🙏🏼

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